This story is the closest that this nice Jewish girl (uh, woman) has ever come to a Christmas miracle.
I hope its lessons help bring miracles into your New Year.
SO, HERE GOES:
On December 23rd, I drove from L.A. to Ojai with joyous anticipation.
This was going to be the first holiday that my husband Will and I would spend with our son in four years. And the first time ever that he was going to see and stay in our new Ojai home.
(As some of you know, we’ve been stuck in the muck of our only child’s addictions the past several years. And have lots of lost time to make up for.)
Now, thanks to our son’s hard work and New Life House, the phenomenal Sober Living Program he’s in, we’re feeling more hopeful everyday.
HIS VISIT WAS FOR ONLY 30 HOURS.
BUT WE PLANNED TO CHERISH EVERY MOMENT.
The plan was Will would drive our son and his friend up to Ojai Christmas Eve afternoon.
And I’d head up the day before, to prepare for a warm and cozy holiday.
I bought his favorite foods, wrapped gifts and made the house all fun and festive (in my own quirky non-denominational way).
Listening to holiday music, I worked like a happy little elf until I became a cold little elf. (Ojai can dip down to the 30’s at night.)
So, I turned the heat on. Well, tried to. And got smacked by a blast of cold air.
I’D GONE THROUGH FRIGGIN’ HELL WITH MY SON.
WAS IT ASKING TOO MUCH TO HAVE A LITTLE HEAT?!!
Visions of a warm holiday had been dancing in my head for months.
But now it felt like the universe was playing a cruel joke on me.
Shivering, I called three different heating companies, sobbing the whole story into their three different voicemails. Praying that one of them would call me in the morning,
With my teeth chattering, I crawled into bed with everything I had—mittens, a hat, leggings, socks, a robe, and Lucky Dog.
First thing in the morning, I got a call from the nicest sounding repairman on earth.
Gratefully, he showed up in 15 minutes. And informed me that the heater wasn’t the problem.
OUR GAS HAD BEEN TURNED OFF?!
That meant no hot water. And no stove either.
Next, I called the gas company and eventually reached a human (and I use that term loosely.)
Robot Woman told me that our earthquake valve (whatever that is), must have been triggered and shut off the gas.
And that a repairman could come out to fix it for $78. Sometime before 8PM.
I asked nicely if she could give me a smaller window of time. Or call when the repairman was on his way.
She didn’t care that I had errands to run or that I’d be captive all day.
After the fifth “that is not our policy, M’am”, I went ballistic.
YEP. I LOST IT THEN AND THERE.
My usual polite, understanding self cracked wide open. All the fury and indignation that have been hiding underneath years of angst, fear and worry ROARED OUT.(Robot Woman was totally unfazed, btw.)
Just then, a car pulled into our driveway. I was surprised to see our contractor and his wife, (who I’d only met once.)
Evidently, Will had sent out an SOS. And they answered it, truly becoming my Christmas angels.
Unloading a space heater. he said he’d wait at the house in case the gas company came.
Then, she whisked me off to their home for a hot shower and breakfast (homemade persimmon toast and a protein shake, no less.)
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?
As if that wasn’t magical enough, we came home to the warmest, coziest house ever, with two picture-perfect fires crackling in the living room and dining room.
I hugged them good-bye with grateful tears streaming down my face,
But there was more.
My dear friend brought another heater and moral support. And a caring neighbor dropped off blankets and parkas just in case the gas company never made it.
Well, by the time Will, our son and his friend arrived, the house was so full of love, that I expected animated hearts to float out of the chimney.
Our son’s first words were “I can see why you love it here so much. It’s just so beautiful and peaceful.”
I got ferklempt watching him and his friend just sitting by the fire and reading.
We sipped hot cider and chatted like old friends. They explained that in a house full of 30 guys they never get a chance to just be quiet. And they savored it.
(As you can see, Lucky loved chilling with his “bro.”.)
I was so happy I almost forget about the whole heat situation.
But just as it was starting to get dark and cold, “Sir Galahad” galloped, I mean, drove up the driveway.
(Seriously, I’ve never met a more handsome or heroic gas company repairman in my life.)
THE MIRACLES KEPT ON COMING.
When I told him the whole story, he listened compassionately and insisted on waving the $78 fee.
It took a while but he finally got the gas turned on and everything working.
We tried to pay him but Sir Gallahad wouldn’t accept a penny from us. Just a little food to go.
He didn’t just restore our heat. He restored our faith in repairman-kind.
WE FINALLY GOT WARM AND COZY.
The rest of our visit felt even better than we’d imagined.
Nothing dramatic happened (thank God). Just the simple bliss of being together and truly connecting (without television, computers or cellphones.)
As we drove off into the sunset we breathed in the beauty of Ojai’s famous “Pink Moment.”
And all that we’ve learned as a family about being in the moment.
WHAT’S THE MORAL OF THE STORY?
When we set an intention, (in my case, to have “a warm and cozy holiday”), we have no idea how the universe is going to deliver it.
When the heater wouldn’t work, I felt like the universe was playing some cruel joke on me.
But as the story unfolded, it was clear that everyone and everything was conspiring on my behalf.
Just not the way I expected.
But in truth, I got a warmer and cozier holiday than I ever could have imagined.
A RECIPE FOR MAGIC.
When you go to a fabulous restaurant, you place your order, right?
But you wouldn’t dream of telling the chef what ingredients to use. Or how to prepare them.
So, this year, when you set your intentions,envision how you want to feel.
Let go of how it’s going to happen.
And let’s just see what special magic the universe cooks up for you.
To me, there’s no greater magic than opening our hearts and sharing our truth with one another. Feel free to share yours in the space below.
Wendi- I love your words. Really inspiring- my advanced years : ) have helped me on the road to letting go of hard and fast expectations and opening up to acceptance. I know it’s made me calmer, happier and a more grateful me. Thanks for writing this!
Thank you, Debra for sharing. I am inspired by your words. I agree–letting go of how we think
things should be allows us to open to new and magical possibilities. But it takes a lot of reprogramming,
doesn’t it? I’m so grateful that you reached out and shared your wisdom here.
Wow. I am now in a puddle. That was a beautiful and emotional story that I did not expect when it started. You are a GREAT story teller, Wendi. Seriously. I love your ability to make a very simple chain of events into the most inspiring message. Thank you!
Laura, I send these messages out into the world and never know exactly how they are going to land.
Your message her makes me SO HAPPY. To know that I touched your heart in this way is my
raison d’etre. And fills me up with such joy. You did that. And I am soooo grateful.
Hope to see you soon.
Thank you for sharing your story!!! It brought tears of Joy and gratitude into my/day life!!
Thank you for sharing, reminding us and PAVING the WAY!!!
I am so fucking proud of your son!!!! He looks so happy and healthy!!!!!
It’s not easy being in this human body…I can see his huge heart and light!!!!!!
Oh, Ally. Now your comments are making my day/life!!
It was a little scary putting this message out into the world, But when I receive
such an incredible response like yours, it gives my heart wings.
Thank you for being expressive, grateful YOU.
So happy for your cozy holiday, and that your son is doing well.
Thank you, Darlene for this. I feel very grateful for how my son is doing. And that I have such a loving community to
share with—including you.
I always enjoy your stories and the way you express yourself. This particular story resonated with me. I could feel your anguish, how much you wanted everything to be “just so”. Your acceptance of not being able to control everything was a good reminder to let go and let G_d. You sound like such a loving Mom and just want the best for your son. Best of luck!
Thank you, Heidi for your compassion and heart. It’s been a very difficult process and one that
most people feel ashamed to speak about. But I believe that “the truth sets us free.”
I must admit I was nervous to put this out there. But your loving response have been so comforting.
Thank you so much for reaching out.
My Dragonfly Goddess,
Your writings are always so deep and heartfelt. We have been
friends since our boys were 5 and to see your transformation
and your soul just open up is amazing and inspiring. I have
been reminded to stop trying to help God out and just
surrender all. Thank you for who you are.
I love you with all my heartz……..
Dear Mona Lisa,
You have been a phenomenal support for me on this challenging journey—
reminding me to trust my intuition and inner wisdom.
I am always dazzled by our strength, your clarity and your deep knowing.
Thank you for blessing my life (and my blog) with your presence.
With so much love and gratitude,
What a lovely story. I too have found so often that life delivers my desires in twisting, unexpected ways; you’ve put it so beautifully. Thank you, and may the warmth of your holidays bless your whole year!
I love the way you said “life delivers my desires in twisting, unexpected ways.” May magic and miracles
be yours—however they arrive. And thank you so much for reaching out.
My dear Wendi,
You are such a gift to the world! As I read this with tears in my eyes, I am overjoyed with your joy of miracles and blessings that already are there, when we are wise enough to get out of the way!
Thank you for sharing your joy and oy!
And let’s not forget “Pronoia” ~ the opposite of paranoia. The Universe is working in our favor, all the time.
Wendy Sue xxoo
I know you “get” everything I wrote and then some.
You are walking proof of miracles happening.
Thank you for your continuing support and love. I adore that word “pronoia.”
It’s something to continually remind ourselves of.
Big dragonfly love to you,
This is your best yet! Especially…the happy ending. Wish you!
This story lit a crackling fire in my heart. Thank you for sharing your Christmas miracle and pointing out that what we get may be much richer than what we plan.
I love you and your whole little group.
Thank you for this moving story. It brought tears to my eyes. I was so glad to see the wonderful pictures of your son. Over the past few years I have been struggling with my husbands addiction to alcohol. I realize I have tough decisions to make, and I love your advice to focus on how I want to feel, instead of how its going to happen. That’s what I’m going to do.
I am so happy that my story touched you, I don’t envy those decisions you have to make. The thing that helped me was knowing that I loved my son enough to allow him to hate me at times. I hope you have a great therapist and are going to Alanon.It truly takes a village. But I know, first hand that when we speak our truth and set healthy boundaries and clear intentions, miracles do happen. I am praying that some happen in your direction.
I love the illustrations that accompany your posts. Are they your drawings? Those Ojai people sound so wonderful, including the repairmen, I want to move there right now. Space heaters can be great. I remember when our new furnace decided not to work on one of the coldest weekends of the year and I bought an electric space heater. Those tiny things really heat up a room. Glad your holiday turned out just right. Good advice about letting go but I find it hard to do many times.
It’s wonderful to hear from you, Deborah. Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. YES, those are my drawings. I call myself an intuitive artist. I still draw very much like I did as a child. It’s so freeing to have a part of my life that’s so perfectly imperfect! Yes, letting go is a constant theme in life, isn’t it? I’m trying to let go of trying to let go!!! And just letting myself BE. (Easier said than done.) Thanks for connecting, Wendi